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Crow Wing sees record COVID-19 case spike

This is the fastest case growth ever recorded in Crow Wing, with the 1,390 new cases representing 9.7% of all cases since April 2020.

An illustration depicts the virus sphere with spikes on the outer surface.
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Contributed / CDC

BRAINERD — The Minnesota Department of Health reported nearly 1,400 new cases of COVID-19 in Crow Wing County since Jan. 18, with nearly vertical spikes in cases recorded across the region.

This is the fastest case growth ever recorded in Crow Wing, with the 1,390 new cases representing 9.7% of all cases since April 2020. Lab reports are significantly backlogged due to the highest volume of tests in the state since the beginning of the pandemic, the health department reports. These figures do not account for positives with at-home tests, which can be challenging to find right now as demand outstrips supply.

Counties across the region are experiencing similar case growth, although none quite as quickly as Crow Wing. With 363 new cases, Wadena County saw 9.6% of all its cases in the last 10 days. Morrison County added 720 new cases, or 8.8% of its overall reports. And Cass County added 518 cases, 8.4% of all cases.

The intensive care unit at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd continues to be near capacity with nine patients. Six of those patients are COVID-positive, and none are vaccinated.

The deaths of 13 locals because of COVID-19 were reported by the health department since Jan. 18, including a 30- to 34-year-old in Cass County and three other Cass County residents, ages 60-64, 65-69 and 75-79. Both Crow Wing and Mille Lacs counties recorded three deaths. Crow Wing County residents who died included two people age 75-79 and an 85- to 89-year-old. Mille Lacs County deaths included people ages 50-54, 60-64 and 80-84. Wadena County saw two deaths, including a 65- to 69-year-old and a 70- to 74-year-old. And Aitkin County residents who died were people ages 85-89 and 90-94.

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